When it comes to top poker sports giants, it is not as easy to identify them in poker as it is in other games where there are three medals in contention – gold, silver and bronze – and limited number of tournaments in a year. In poker, there is the money aspect to consider, championships participated in and ranked, bracelets won, and such other factors involved. So, to speak confidently about the greatest poker player at any one time is, to a great extent, subjective. However, there are those poker players who are not just fascinating at the table, but have also won big tournaments and cashed big prize monies consistently.
Poker Giants Of 2016
- Daniel Negreanu
Negreanu has been consistent in poker championships held live since he began competing, and his admirable performance in those poker competitions has also been consistent. For that reason, he comes top on the list of this year’s Global Poker Index. In addition, he is notable for being the sole competitor to win bracelets in the World Poker Series in Europe, Australia as well as Las Vegas.
As far as earnings are concerned, Negreanu has had occasion to take home six separate winnings of a million dollars and above. In fact, in one of those great performances, he took home a whopping $8.28 million; and that was the winning from the World Series of Poker (WSOP) held in Las Vegas in July 2014. So far, his accumulated earnings from poker competitions are in excess of $30 million.
- Antonio Esfandiari
Esfandiari, whose accumulated earnings from poker have reached $26 million and more, is also among the most fascinating and popular poker players in the live poker scene. He earned his first $1 million cash prize about a decade ago, and that was in the LA Poker Classic. From 2004 onwards, his annual earnings have consistently hit six figures in US dollars, his greatest single win being in July 2012 when he scooped an enviable $18.3 million. It was in the WSOP held in Las Vegas that this American poker player of Iranian descent set the record for the highest prize won so far in a single poker tournament.
- Erik Seidel
Seidel is known on the poker scene, not just for his long poker career that spans decades, but also because he has been making big winnings. He began being noticed as a poker player with great potential when he came second in the main event of the 1988 WSOP. Then in 2011, his name was on everyone’s lips as he won a remarkable $6.5 million in a span of twelve months. Not only has Seidel won millions on US soil, but also in Australia where he made a single winning in Melbourne of almost $2.5 million.
- Phil Ivey
It is not for nothing Phil Ivey is referred to as the Tiger Woods of Poker. This talented poker player is 38yrs old now, but he broke onto the poker scene as an underage teenager. Back then, he played under the name of Jerome, and his base was mostly casinos within the state of New Jersey. In 2000, Ivey, whose cumulative earnings from poker are almost $23 million, won a WSOP bracelet, and that marked his rise to fame, more winnings and greater respect from peers. Since that time, he has won eight more of those bracelets that are coveted by all serious poker competitors. Among his biggest single winnings are $2 million he won in January 2012, $3.5 million he won in February 2014, and $1.7 million he won in February last year.
Other poker players within this top league include Sam Trickett, who has $20.5 million accumulated winnings to his name; Phil Hellmuth Jr. whose accumulated earnings have reached $18.8 million; Jonathan Duhamel, with $16.8 million; John Juanda, with $15.6 million; Jason Mercier, with $15 million; and Michael Mizrachi, whose accumulated winnings have hit the $14.4 million mark.